Digital marketing on a budget

Table of contents

Marketing your business online can be tough when having to decide where you should focus your efforts. The current state of digital marketing has a lot of options to choose from. If you don’t have the marketing budget of Coca-Cola it can be daunting to decide where you will best spend your hard earned marketing budget. Compounding the problem, a lot of small businesses don’t actually measure the return they are getting on their investment and rely on intuition as a success gauge. All kinds of factors can throw that off.

Monitoring success

How do you know if your marketing is working if you don’t have a measure of the results? At an absolute minimum, you should setup a conversion goal in Google Analytics.  One of simplest things you can do is ensure your enquiry forms redirect to a thank you page. You can then add that thank you page to your Google Analytics conversion goals. For a lot of businesses that aren’t selling online that might be all you need.

You can setup goals for all kinds of things like subscribing to an email newsletter, reaching a specific page or downloading a document. If you’re selling things online there’s a lot more you can setup to include the value of the sales, popular products, etc.

On a simpler level, if the main goal for your website is to get people to call you it can be harder to automatically track. How about just asking inbound enquiries how they heard about you? Keep a track of how many say from Google, website, social media, etc. Just make it part of your process for handling sales enquiries.

No or low cost digital marketing options

Content creation

You must create content. Period. Not just any content. Useful, entertaining, shareable content. Creating content not only helps you build an audience that you can potentially educate about your products or services, it builds up your personal brand and trust.

Creating articles can bring in a lot of free, organic traffic from Google if you get it right. But don’t go thinking you should right your articles just to rank for a certain keyword. The key is offering real value by writing rich, insightful or entertaining articles that users like to engage with. Then the search engine rankings will naturally follow.

You then must consider video content. Video content is the number one form of media for marketing your business online. It helps your website convert, it gets more engagement on social media and it brings down your cost per click when used in advertising. Simply put, video is the king of all content.

You don’t need to go all out on a production team with professional equipment. Just about any camera purchasable today or any current smart phone produces high definition video of a quality suitable for online marketing. A tripod really helps if you’re trying to ditch the ‘selfie look’, but if you don’t have one heck make use of something else like a shelf or a stack of books. It’s important to just put something out. A look into you and your business. Like writing for articles, try to offer value. Help people out with their problems, or have fun and be a little entertaining.

Add your business to directories

The vast majority of business directories are free. A few ask for a subscription fee for a premium offer but you don’t need it, and they are totally not worth it.

Getting your name in directories can bring in some great referral traffic, helps your business be found in local search and can boost your search engine rankings generally by providing more backlinks to your website.

It might take a couple of hours, but if you follow our advice here you can streamline the process.

Remarketing campaigns

Remarketing is when you display ads through Google Display Network or Facebook Advertising to users that have previously visited your website. You do need a little bit of code setup on your website to track those users but it’s relatively simple and there’s even some plugins to make it easier still.

You’re not going to get a more targeted list of users to send ads to, than one made up of users that have already expressed an interest in your product or service by going to your website. It will be the greatest return on your investment through pay per click, ever.

Not only will you be encouraging users back to your site to complete a purchasing decision, you are very inexpensively building brand awareness. Your ads are going to follow potential customers around for a period of time, and there’s no chance they will forget your brand.

Get help with social

Social media can be a tough gig these days. Almost all networks have adjusted their content feeds based on user engagement levels. It makes sense, give the people what they want to see, or at least what they think people want to see. A lot of businesses complain how their posts are falling flat.

If you can pull together your own little advocate army via friends, family, colleagues or staff, you can really drive your posts out there. The trick is to get your team involved and genuinely wanting to share your content out to their personal network. Don’t make it spammy, don’t make it forced.

You might need to do a bit of cross-promotion to make it workable. The benefits of early engagement on social (especially Facebook) are phenomenal. The numbers of views, likes, comments and shares in the first stages of a post are critical to it’s reach success.

Keeping the budget tight

These key areas will keep your marketing budget down, but you will need to spend some of that other valuable resource, time. Just remember though, if there are no measures of success it’s very hard to effectively manage a digital marketing campaign.


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